IT IS one of the world’s most iconic chocolate bars, and it is made right here in York.

KitKat is 75 years old at the end of this month and to celebrate Nestlé bosses are hoping to get in touch with the families of Rowntree staff who worked on the first KitKat production line, in 1935.

They hope there may be a few people around who produced the first Kitkats – known, back then, as Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp. But they are also keen to speak to people who remember their parents or relatives working on the confectionery.

Nestlé spokesman James Maxton said: “From humble beginnings 75 years ago to now being the most global confectionery brand in the world with more than 17 billion fingers eaten a year, KitKat is one of our iconic brands.

“As the home of KitKat and still making three million bars a day, York is central to the celebrations with various activities taking place until the end of the year.

“We would love to find the workers or their family members who played such an important role in the early production of KitKat from the early days in the thirties to the sixties, to share their memories and help in these celebrations.”

As part of the anniversary, Nestlé is hoping to stage an exhibition of the history of KitKat. It would be great to use family recollections, and even any old photographs that York families may have, to help with that, Mr Maxton said.

The idea for what was to become the KitKat was prompted by a suggestion in the Rowntree’s suggestion box. One of the firm’s employees felt that Rowntree ought to be making “a chocolate bar that a man could take to work in his pack-up.”

The result was the four-finger Chocolate Crisp. Made in York since 1935, it was originally sold in London and the South East only, priced at 2d. But it was such a hit it was quickly distributed across the rest of the country.

Rowntree bosses felt the name was a little cumbersome, however, and in 1937 the name Kitkat was added to the pack.

The name is thought to have been inspired by an 18th century London political and literary group, the Kit-Kat Club. The idea of the KitKat “break” was introduced in advertising as early as 1937 – along with slogans such as “the biggest little meal in Britain”.

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of Aero, another iconic brand.

So if you or a member of your family worked on the early KitKat or Aero production lines, Nestlé would like to hear from you.

Get in touch by phoning Stephen Lewis or Mike Laycock at The Press on (01904) 567131, or email or